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XR are pressuring Irish Funds to get the companies they represent to divest in fossil fuels. The Journal
climate action

Extinction Rebellion protest Irish investment conference to stop funding of 'climate chaos'

The entrance to the conference was blocked by protesters who poured “oil” on themselves and lay on the ground.

PROTESTERS FROM EXTINCTION Rebellion (XR) blocked the entrance to a conference, for the international investment fund community in Ireland, demanding that the companies divest their funding from fossil fuels.

The entrance to the Irish Funds Annual Global Funds Conference, being held in Dublin today, was blocked by members of the environmental group – who poured corn syrup on themselves to represent oil, and lay on the ground so that the attendees are reminded of “the critical role that fossil fuel funding has in accelerating climate catastrophes”.

XR are pressuring Irish Funds to get the companies they represent to divest from fossil fuels and said that the companies should be expelled from the country if they refuse to strip their investment.

Louis Heath, who poured oil on the protesters today on Golden Lane in Dublin, said it is “totally ridiculous” that business leaders and the public continue to see the impacts and statistics on climate change and yet still invest in fossil fuels.

IMG_7063 Louis Heath (Right) pours oil on protestors outside the conference. Muiris O'Cearbhaill Muiris O'Cearbhaill

In the 2023 Banking on Climate Chaos report, twelve banks who provided the most amount of financing to fossil fuels were labeled the “dirty dozen” by the organisation that tracks bank financing of fossil fuel industry.

XR argue that Irish Funds is “legitimising their cannibalisation of the planet” due to four out of the twelve banks being a member of the group.

The four banks in question are Citi Bank, that financed over €31 billion to companies such as Enbridge, who offer crude oil transportation, JP Morgan, that financed over €36 billion, TD who financed €26,8 billion, and lastly RBC, the bank that financed the most money above any other banks to oil and gas companies, at €37.53 billion.

Because of this client list, XR claim Irish Funds is “legitimising their cannibalisation of the planet”.

Leslie Marce, a protestor who got doused in “oil”, said that Irish Funds should not be involved with the investment into fossil fuels and questions the authenticity of their “integrity” values.

“I mean, how can you have integrity when you’re allowing your members to fund Climate Chaos?” Leslie said.

“People are living in denial, particularly the people who are making money [from it]. People who invest in money think ‘this is separate, money is money, it’s nothing to do with emotions or anything like that’,” Louis said.

Louis added that for every euro that’s invested into companies who produce or provide energy from fossil fuels, it directly hurts our climate.

IMG_7084 (1) Death by oil Muiris O'Cearbhaill Muiris O'Cearbhaill

Leslie told The Journal “The people that invest in fossil fuels, the people who are here today at this conference held by Irish Funds[...] all of those companies are basically killing us with the fossil fuels that they are investing in.”

“Everyone has to act, but the people who have the power are those companies. So Irish Funds must demand that those companies divest, and if they don’t they should expell [the companies].”

“Irish Funds shouldn’t be a part of this climate chaos,” Leslie added.

The Journal contacted Irish Funds for a response, who said it was not making a comment at this time.

Noteworthythe crowdfunded investigative journalism platform from The Journal, found that ambitions for tighter scrutiny regarding the investment of pension funds in fossil fuels were quietly rolled back only months after the target was set. You can read that investigation here.

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